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The 3 Math Myths

As an elementary school teacher, one of the most common challenges I face in the classroom is helping students overcome their fear of mathematics. It is disheartening to see how the beliefs and misconceptions about math can impact a child’s confidence and performance in school. One of the reasons why this happens is because they have been exposed to math myths that have been circulating for years. 

These myths discourage them from pursuing the subject, and create a mindset that is difficult to overcome. In our tutoring programs at Dropkick Math Academy, we work with students to boost their confidence and help them overcome the beliefs they may hold in math. 

In today’s discussion, we will delve into the three most common math myths and expose the truth behind them.  

The 3 Top Math Myths

If you are a concerned parent of a child who is struggling with mathematics, this is a must-read. Join me on this journey to break the myths and unlock your child’s true math potential.

Myth #1 – Believing you are not good at math

This is the biggest myth that people believe. How many times have you heard someone say, “I am just not good at math?” The myth has blossomed into the idea that you are either naturally good or bad at math, but that simply isn’t true. Everyone can be good at math with the right learning experience.

Math can be a daunting subject for a child, especially if they’ve had previous negative experiences with it. However, what if their struggles with math were due to a past learning environment that didn’t work for the way they learn? What if they’re actually good at math, and all they need is a supportive environment that adapts to their needs and learning pace? Enter Dropkick Math Academy

Our small classes are taught by passionate faculty who develop a personalized educational experience tailored to each student’s learning style. We believe that effective teaching requires a malleable approach that adapts to the individual needs of each student. Our supportive tutors provide one-on-one attention to strengthen basic skills in a way that makes the most sense to our students. Dropkick Math Academy will give your child the confidence and skills to excel in math and beyond.

Myth #2 – Only boys are good at math

The notion that math is exclusively a man’s world is a widespread notion in our society, but it is far from reality. The truth is that math is for everyone, regardless of gender. 

At Dropkick Math Academy, we believe in and actively promote gender equality in education, especially in STEM fields like mathematics. We are proud to have a success rate that disproves the notion that girls do not belong in math. Our female students are just as capable, skillful, and passionate as their male counterparts. We firmly believe that anyone talented, passionate about math and willing to put in the effort will undoubtedly excel in this subject. 

At Dropkick Math Academy, we treat all our students equally and aim to instill confidence and proficiency in math, regardless of their gender.

Myth #3 – Math is not useful in everyday life

It’s a common myth that math is only useful in specific careers like accounting or engineering. In reality, math is present in almost all aspects of everyday life. From the motion of cars to the flow of current in our electronic devices, mathematical equations help describe and predict these phenomena. 

While children may not understand these examples, it is easy to show them how they use math in their daily lives. Next time they want some candy or a piece of pizza, show them how to divide up the pieces among different people. This can help them understand number sense and fractions. 

There are many other ways to show children how math is used in daily life. From baking to grocery shopping, you can help open your child’s eyes to the practical uses of mathematics daily. Check out our blog, which is all about finding math in everyday life!

When discussing math with a child, it is also important to mention that it is also not limited to certain fields or careers. With proper training and skills in math, they can easily transfer to various industries such as data science, business administration, and even fashion design! So, next time your child asks why they need to learn math, remind them of the broad and practical applications of math in their day-to-day life.

A Boost In Confidence And Willingness To Learn

As I have explained, these math myths are not true. The earlier these math myths are discussed with a child, the better. When a child understands that they are just as good at math as anyone else and that they have the potential to excel in the subject, they will begin to experience a boost in confidence and a willingness to learn. 

At Dropkick Math Academy, our math learning techniques help children become engaged in their education. All of our programs involve game-based learning and offer a fun and exciting way to learn math operations. 

All of our math tutoring programs are taught by certified Ontario teachers who understand math anxiety and know how to approach students who may believe any of these math myths. We have excellent success with students who enter our program with math anxiety and feeling of dread when faced with math operations. With a little compassion and understanding, we can help boost their confidence and get them into a better mindset where they will want to learn and participate in math once again!

Check out our list of programs and get your child started with our FREE Early Indicators Assessment today!

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Are You Praising Your Child Wrong?

It’s natural for parents to want to shower their children with praise. After all, we want them to feel good about themselves and be successful in life, right? But new research shows that we might be doing more harm than good with our constant compliments. Turns out, praising kids about how smart they are can actually backfire, leading to increased anxiety and lower self-esteem. So, what’s a parent to do? Learn how and when to give authentic praise to help your child thrive.

How Could It Do Harm?

You may be wondering how praising your child could do any harm. But, the way the praise is given and the consistency matter a lot when dealing with a child struggling with academics. Praise is a powerful tool in motivating children and can help them feel competent and confident, encouraging them to persevere in the face of challenges. However, praise also has the potential to do more harm than good. If praise is focused on a child’s ability or results, it can create a fixed mindset where children believe that their intelligence or talent is the only reason for their success. This can lead to children feeling discouraged when encountering difficulties, as they believe their lack of ability is to blame.

On the other hand, praise that focuses on a child’s effort can foster a growth mindset, where children believe that their abilities can be developed through hard work and practice. This type of praise encourages children to keep trying even when they encounter setbacks, as they know they can improve. As a result, praising a child’s effort is more likely to promote long-term success than praising their ability or results.

A recent study looked at the effect of praise on children, specifically how they are praised from ages 1 to 3. Five years later, the researchers measured the children’s mindset. It was found that the more the parents praised the process (effort, not intelligence) in their younger years, the more likely they were to have a growth mindset five years later. 

What To Say?

Saying things to your child like “you are so smart” may seem like a good idea, but it can ultimately set them up for challenges later if they begin to struggle. If they have repeatedly been told that they are smart, they may lack perseverance when math no longer comes easy to them. And this day will come. Even if your child sails through math concepts with no problems, more difficult equations will likely start to slow them down once they start getting older. 

You will want to praise your child with phrases such as “Great job putting in the effort to show your work on your test,” or “I am so happy you took your time on that problem and didn’t give up!” Praise their time management, effort, and persistence. Do not praise their intellect. Before praising your child, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Does this encourage learning, growth, and the ability to accept challenges?”.

Letting Your Child Struggle

When children are faced with a challenging problem, they should productively struggle to come to the answer. This allows them to take time to solve the problem and look at their mistakes along the way to learn from them. Letting your child struggle productively with helpful praise will help them in the long run. 

Children who feel comfortable struggling in a productive way may take a break but will ultimately come back to the problem and attempt new strategies until a solution is identified. 

On the other hand, children who enter the destructive struggle zone often run out of strategies and no longer believe they can solve the problem. Once a child doubts their ability, they no longer care to solve the problem. This is where reinforcing praise for a child’s effort can come in. 

Encouraging a child to take risks, fail, and learn from their mistakes is all part of good praise. At some point in life, we are all going to fail at something. But powering through failure and sadness is how to experience success. Homework is a great place to encourage your child into a productive struggle so they can handle future problems with ease. 

One of the most challenging things for students to do in school is to develop confidence and comfort with math. That’s why our programs are designed specifically around closing skill gaps while supporting them through their learning so they feel more confident. If your child continues to struggle with math, our programs may be able to help.

All of our programs are taught by certified Ontario teachers who can offer differentiated approaches, making it accessible for all learning needs. We focus on the four pillars of math (number sense, operational sense, proportional reasoning, and algebraic reasoning). 

Involving The Parent/Guardian

At Dropkick Math, we offer a unique learning environment that gives the option of involving the parent/caregiver. We believe the relationships between parent, student, and educator are crucial to achieving mastery in mathematics and that learning together achieves lasting success!  Part of this learning environment involves praising a child in their efforts and encouraging a fun and engaging atmosphere. 

So, before you start searching for “math tutor near me,” check out our unique programs that will help build your child’s confidence and set them up for long-term success.  

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Why Spatial Reasoning Is So Important For Mathematics

Do you remember the first time you solved a puzzle? The satisfaction of completing it and finally understanding how all the pieces fit together was an amazing feeling. As parents, we want to give our children the best opportunities for success in life, and part of that includes helping them develop strong problem-solving skills such as those that accomplish finishing a puzzle. 

One skill that is essential for mathematical success is spatial reasoning. Developing this ability at an early age can set your child up for future academic achievement and it can even predict students’ later success in higher levels of mathematics, such as proportional thinking and algebraic reasoning. Keep reading to learn more about why spatial reasoning is so important for children’s mathematics and what you can do to help them excel in this area. 

What Is Spatial Reasoning?

The ability to reason spatially is a fundamental human skill that allows us to make sense of the world around us. Spatial reasoning skills are used when we navigate our environment, manipulate objects, or even daydream. Although we are often not consciously aware of it, spatial reasoning is essential for everyday life.

There are many different types of spatial reasoning tasks, but they all involve mental manipulation of 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional images. For example, a common spatial reasoning task is mental rotation, which requires imagining how an object would look if it were rotated in space. Another type of spatial reasoning task is mental folding, which involves folding a 2-dimensional image in your mind to visualize a 3-dimensional object.

Spatial reasoning skills develop throughout childhood and continue to improve into adulthood. However, some people are naturally better at spatial reasoning than others. One’s ability to reason spatially can also be affected by factors such as fatigue, stress, and boredom. Spatial reasoning skills can be improved with practice, so there’s no need to worry if your child doesn’t seem naturally gifted in this area. With a little bit of practice, anyone can become better at spatial reasoning.

Math Is More Than Numbers

When most people think of math, they think of numbers. However, math is so much more than that. It encompasses spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, and other important skills. For kids, this can be a lot to take in. They may get bored quickly if they think math is just about numbers. However, when they are exposed to spatial reasoning tasks and toys, they suddenly become interested in learning more. They may even choose to play with math materials during their free time. 

Spatial reasoning is a key part of math education and it can be very engaging for kids. By exposing them to spatial reasoning tasks and toys, we can help them develop a love for math.

Mathematical Abilities

A recent study has found that spatial reasoning skills in early childhood can predict mathematical abilities later in life. The study followed a group of children from ages 6 to 8, and found that those with strong spatial reasoning skills at age 6 were more likely to perform well on mathematical tasks at age 8. This relationship was especially strong for tasks involving the linear number line. 

The findings suggest that spatial reasoning skills play an essential role in the development of mathematical abilities. Furthermore, they indicate that intervening to improve spatial reasoning skills in early childhood could positively impact later math achievement. The study provides new insights into the importance of spatial reasoning skills and highlights the need for further research on ways to support the development of these skills in young children.

Standardized Testing

In Ontario, students take a standardized test in Grade 3 called the EQAO that determines if they are on grade level. Many teachers notice that in grade 2 students often struggle with tasks that involve spatial sense, indicating that it should be included more in math education in the early elementary classroom. But it shouldn’t just fall on teachers to help children understand spatial reasoning. There are many activities that parents can offer their children to help advance their understanding of spatial reasoning.   

How To Be Proactive

Spatial reasoning is a critical skill set for many STEM fields, and strong spatial reasoning skills have been linked to success in mathematics. As I previously mentioned, spatial reasoning skills are often not formally taught in schools which means that children could fall behind. However, parents can be proactive by helping their children develop strong spatial reasoning skills from an early age. This can be done by encouraging spatial talk in children. 

Through spatial talk, children learn to use language to describe spatial relationships and solve problems. For example, a parent might ask a child to put away their toys by saying, “Please put the red block on top of the blue cube.” Parents can also provide opportunities for spatial play, such as puzzles, building blocks, and drawing. By encouraging spatial talk and providing opportunities for spatial play, parents can help their children develop strong spatial reasoning skills that will set them up for success in school and beyond.

Spatial reasoning can be taught through each of the four pillars of math (number sense, operational sense, algebraic reasoning, and proportional reasoning). When thinking of math concepts, parents should try and view them through a spatial and geometry lens. For example, when a child is learning about number sense, they can be encouraged to gesture with their hands, or they can visualize the number line. 

If your child is struggling with spatial reasoning or any other math concept, Dropkick Math Academy can help. So, before you start searching for “math tutor near me” learn about our programs or get in contact if you have any questions. Our team of Ontario certified teachers understands the gaps in education that can often occur and can address them while boosting your child’s confidence in mathematics. 

Get started today by having your child complete our FREE assessment

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What Do The Studies Show?

What Do The Studies Show?

What Do The Studies Show

After two years of disruptions, it is safe to say that the pandemic has impacted children’s education. With an estimated 90% of all children worldwide who have had their education disrupted, change is needed. Students cannot continue to be pulled in and out of school and be expected to learn the same way in front of a screen as if they were in a classroom. 

As of May 2021, schools in 26 countries were closed country-wide, and in 55 countries, schools were only partially open. Even though many are starting to open again slowly, evidence suggests that students will continue to feel the consequences of lost learning during the pandemic

The Gaps In Learning

With millions of children deprived of regular education during the pandemic, it is vital to get help for those who may have any gaps in learning. At Dropkick Math, we offer programs to help students build their confidence by developing their understanding of the fundamentals of mathematics. 

According to recent research, math learning seems to have taken a bigger hit during the pandemic compared to other subjects. Due to this lack of proper education, student’s growth rate in math is expected to slow during the next few years. So, getting them the help they need now could help them get caught up quicker than expected. 

What The Research Shows

Although it is still early days and the pandemic is not over yet, some studies are starting to be released on the effects of missed education on children. Research shows that the impact of the pandemic on K-12 student learning was significant, leaving students on average five months behind in mathematics and four months behind in reading by the end of the school year.

Here in Ontario, initial findings show that impacts of the pandemic are concentrated in math. Reading achievement in the fall of 2020 was consistent with the prior year, but average math achievement was 5 to 10 percentile points lower than the previous fall. It was also noted that, on average, students made gains during the early phase of the pandemic; however, math gains were smaller than pre-pandemic trends. 

Studies are also beginning to show that high schoolers have become more likely to drop out of school, and high school seniors are less likely to go on to postsecondary education. But the crisis didn’t just impact academics. It also took a toll on students’ broader health and well-being, with more than 35 percent of parents being extremely concerned about their mental health. 

Unfinished Learning

As more research becomes available and the true cost of the pandemic is shown, many educators are using the term “unfinished learning” to capture the reality that students were not given the opportunity to complete all the typical learning they would have typically completed. 

As policymakers and education leaders work together toward recovery, Dropkick Math is here to fill in any gaps in learning that may arise. As one of the leading math tutoring services in Ontario, our trained instructors can provide support in key math skills through fun and interactive programs. 

We start by assessing the student with our free early indicators check-in. From there, we can help place your child in the program best suited for their needs to start building their math confidence and develop their skills for the future. 

Get started today by learning more about our programs.

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How To Easily Apply Mathematics In Everyday Life

How To Easily Apply Mathematics In Everyday Life

How To Easily Apply Mathematics In Everyday Life

If you take a quick look around your home or out on the street, you will quickly come to realize that numbers are everywhere! From the numbers and minutes displayed on a clock to the sequences of numbers on the license plate, there are various opportunities for children to apply their mathematical skills in everyday situations, whatever their age.

Making real-life connections to numbers can help children with their counting, estimating, adding and subtracting skills. Many don’t even realize they’re using math as they count the number of seconds before they hunt for a friend in a game of hide and seek or play hopscotch on numbered squares in the school ground.

There are many opportunities to demonstrate to children how the need to use mathematical skills is all around us. In the supermarket, while cooking dinner, or on the walk to school all offer many chances to speak about math. And with a bit of nudging, it’s also a chance for children to show you what they already know and how they can work problems out by themselves. This can help build the child’s confidence based on what they’ve previously learned.

In The Supermarket

Taking your child to the supermarket can provide a wealth of opportunities to use their mathematical knowledge. Start by looking at price labels, special offers, and ask them to help calculate a discount on reduced items. Show them how to use multiplication to determine the best value when looking at multibuy offers. Involve younger children by using scales and weighing some of their favourite fruits or vegetables. Also, try to use cash to familiarize your child with handling money and calculating change at the checkout. This is a great way for children to start to understand money and budgets, and it can be fun for them to try estimating the value of the final shopping basket at the checkout.

Algebraic reasoning can also be practiced in the supermarket. Although it may seem like a foreign concept to many children, believe it or not, we do use it regularly. For example, you will need to use an algebraic equation to figure out how many hamburgers you would need for a party if you wanted two hamburgers for every adult, one hamburger for every child, and an extra three just in case. 

Cooking At Home

Try cooking with your child at home using simple recipes that utilize several mathematical skills. Choose a recipe such as muffins that produces a larger amount than the number of people in your family. Have children rewrite the recipe by halving amounts or doubling them. Children can also learn to weigh out ingredients to the appropriate amounts and learn how to read varying increments on a weighing scale.

On A Field Trip

No matter if a child is going on a daily walk around the house or a long car journey, they can begin to understand the use of numbers in the world around them and start to develop mental dexterity. For example, ask them to keep count of silver cars and red cars simultaneously, or use a pedometer to record steps on their regular walk to school. Younger children could be asked such questions as “how many shoes are on the shoe rack?” This can help to encourage children to use unique and complex skills such as counting in twos.

While out on a walk, children can also be encouraged to find patterns in nature. Depending on their age, the more complicated the pattern they may be able to find. This can help them develop their skills in geometry. 

Number Sense

To understand math deeply, the brain needs to form connections. So seeing it in real life can help children form these connections between abstract math concepts and real everyday life. When math becomes more relevant for students, they become more interested, engaged and willing to participate. By incorporating mathematics in everyday life, you could help to develop your child’s number sense.

The Ontario mathematics curriculum for grades 1 to 8 states that “In integrated learning, students are provided with opportunities to work towards meeting expectations from two or more subjects within a single unit, lesson or activity. By linking expectations from different subject areas, teachers can provide students with multiple opportunities to reinforce and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a range of settings. Also, the mathematical process that focuses on connecting encourages students to make connections between mathematics and other subject areas.”

This helps explain why the curriculum focuses less on memorizing facts and equations and focuses more on critical thinking and problem solving about mathematical concepts. Parents can help extend this learning at home by making the connections between a child’s activities and the math concepts.

Career Choices

Some children are focused on the fact that their favourite career doesn’t have anything to do with math. Therefore, they are not motivated or engaged in learning mathematics. So, it is a great idea for these children to get them looking into the courses they will need to take to earn their degree/diploma in that field. Researching the career more to figure out what is actually required in that position often shows students how math can help them get into the career they choose. Once they see the math behind the career, they may be more motivated to excel to go into this profession in the future.

At Dropkick Math, we understand children need to encounter math in everyday life to help develop their fundamentals in the four pillars of math. Our programs focus on algebraic reasons, operational sense, number sense, and proportional reasoning. With a fun and engaging learning environment, your child can build on their math skills and gain the confidence they need to excel in mathematics. Learn more about our programs today!